Don’t Cry (Wolf) Over Spilled Oil

Much of life in the United States runs on oil – and not just in your car’s gas tank. Right now a LOT of oil is floating around in the ocean – threatening to kill off a LOT of marine life and perhaps permanently ruin much of the United States’ southeastern coastline. The company “responsible” seems more concerned about escaping blame than fixing the problem and the U.S. Government doesn’t seem willing or able to step in and do what is needed – including accepting help from anyone else.

Ironically, recovering the oil and cleaning the ocean could be relatively quick and simple to do – IF those with the means to do it would. MANY countries and companies with experience dealing with previous oil spills have offered assistance. ALL have been rebuffed.

Incredibly, also rejected seems to be copying the successful use of microbe bioredmediation used by the state of Texas 20 years ago to protect and restore their coasts from oil contamination.

Oil contamin-nation is an Obama-nation – with an increasingly unpopular agenda. The almost exclusive focus on lawsuits and and financial escrow funds is a sign that little will be done to stop the leak or benefit the ocean, people, plants, animals, marshes, beaches, or industries affected by oil that will continue to flow.

The United States grows a LOT of grain in the mid-west. To do so seems to require a LOT of herbicide, pesticide, and OIL. Grain is really just grass. Grass of one kind or another and is the most common plant form on the planet. Unlike the few commercial grass crops that are grown (for human and animal use), Prairie grass requires NOTHING to grow – and survives floods, droughts, fires, freezes, infestations, and all the other things that the much more expensive grass/grain/crops we prefer do not – and has a higher nutritional value. But like as hemp, bamboo, and many other grasses that are superior to what agribusiness profits from, Prairie grass is not used.

The grass may not be any greener – but it could be a superior cleaner.

It appears that many grasses, including hay, bind with (petroleum) oil – and with a little agitation will remove it from water. The oil is not absorbed, just attached to the grass – and thus could eventually either be separated again or simply burned as a combination of biomass and fossil fuel for energy, power, or almost any other purpose.

President B.H. Obama claims to have quit smoking (tobacco), but maybe he should smoke a little oil-soaked grass. Like former President William (B.J.) Clinton, the current President clearly won’t inhale – because he seems to lack inspiration, initiative, and the willingness (or maybe even ability) to be honest, tell the truth, take responsibility, and/or make anything better.

The secret to clean clothes is NOT detergent, but agitation – which is why scrubbing with a washboard without soap can often be as good as relying on scrubbing bubbles. The secret to cleaning the ocean of oil may be as simple as hauling vast quantities of hay and other grasses in great supply out into the middle of the floating oil, letting the waves agitate the two together and then either collecting the oil-attached hay with nets (like shrimp boats use) or just letting it wash ashore like seaweed and scooping it up with land based equipment. The alternative is to let the oil kill off everything in the ocean and along the beaches. Seems like an easy choice to me – if it were mine to make.

What Would Jesus Drive? He wouldn’t! He’d walk – on water if necessary. Oil and water don’t mix – so don’t expect a lot of wine (fish or other seafood) for dinner…..

Those in the fishing industry could replace their income by offering to trawl for hay – and thus save enough fish and shrimp to still be in business when they are done. The farmers who grow hay (or even Bermuda grass) could have a market and make more of a difference than just feeding a few horses. Cows, pigs, chickens, and even fish are usually fed corn and soy.

Once cleaned up, rethinking the real need and use for oil would be another good idea. Wars are fought over oil – and yet the United States gets most of its oil from CANADA, not Iraq (and certainly not Afghanistan). The biggest user of oil in the world is the U.S. military – which uses most of it outside the country (often defending access to it). This does not make a lot of sense (to me).

As mentioned, grass is cheaper and more plentiful than oil – and far less damaging to the planet. Using grass as fuel might make a LOT more sense than drilling (or killing) for dead dinosaurs in the form of oil. Of course, oil companies and all those who profit from keeping things as (dependent and volatile as) they are will object – and prevail IF allowed to. YOU have more say than you might realize – IF you vote with your wallet.

Remember, agitation is often a good thing. Don’t let corporate brain-washing pollute your thinking – or the world you live in. There are many other options. And every “weed” has a purpose and use – that has yet to be appreciated. Here’s ONE quick example:

The original Marlboro Man died of emphysema. The new one probably lives in China. More people smoke in China than any other place on earth. Cigarette buds are usually considered toxic waste. When thrown in water they make it impossible for fish and most other marine life to survive – but when bound to pipes they keep them from rusting.

We would ALL benefit from reassessing what we need, what we have, and how it is used. What we consider an asset or resource needs to be redefined – and usually used in a new way. PLEASE encourage this!

That’s my perspective. What’s yours?

© 2010, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

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